The Regulator of Social Housing and the Housing Ombudsman Service have different functions but have arrangements in place for the 2 bodies to work together.
The MoU sets out how the Ombudsman informs RSH of potential systemic issues relating to compliance with the regulators standards. It also confirms how RSH signposts tenants, or their representatives, who are seeking resolution of individual complaints, to the Ombudsman.
RSH (formerly part of the Homes and Communities Agency), sets both consumer and economic regulatory standards, but in line with its statutory framework it focuses on economic regulation of private registered providers of social housing (including housing associations).
The regulator is legally obliged to regulate in a way that minimises interference and regulates consumer standards reactively, focusing on potential systemic failure. It does not resolve individual complaints and cannot mediate in disputes between landlords and tenants.
Further information on the regulatory framework and the standards can be found on the Regulatory Standards page.
The regulators annual Consumer regulation review sets out its approach to consumer regulation and includes case studies and lessons learned.
The Housing Ombudsman Service (also known as The Housing Ombudsman) seeks to resolve complaints from individuals about registered providers of social housing and some managing agents and private landlords who are voluntary members. It deals with each complaint to find the best outcome for the individual circumstances.
The service aims to encourage the resolution of complaints early wherever possible so it provides advice and support to help the parties resolve matters between themselves. Where a dispute has not been resolved within the landlords complaints procedure, it will work with the landlord and complainant to reach agreement. If not resolved, it may formally investigate the complaint and can make orders and award compensation if there is evidence of maladministration.
For more information about the Housing Ombudmans role, see the What we do page.
While we have different functions, we have arrangements in place to cooperate and communicate with each other within our legal frameworks. We will signpost people to each other where appropriate. If you are unsure which organisation is the most relevant to deal with your issue, you can contact both organisations at the same time.
Contact the Regulator of Social Housing by:
Contact the Housing Ombudsman Service by: